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Meridian Has Choice: Not Raise Prices And Cut Ads

Sunday 17 July 2005

Meridian Has Choice: Not Raise Prices And Cut Ads

“For state owned power producer and retailer, Meridian Energy, to claim it had little choice but to raise its prices from 1 September is a sour joke when it is running huge and expensive ‘mood’ type advertisements,” said Andrew McKenzie, Alliance Public Sector Spokesperson.

“It’s adding insult to injury for those who are already getting cold and sick this winter because the SOE’s power prices are already so high.”

“The situation is so bad in Christchurch and Canterbury that the Canterbury District Health Board just last week increased its ‘winter warmth’ campaign. The campaign to be run on radio and by posters to GPs, is to encourage Cantabrians to keep warm over the winter months because so much illness is caused by the cold and so many elderly people are hospitalized.”

Mr. McKenzie said that Meridian customers were approaching the Alliance saying the State power company did have a choice – it could stop the million dollar water and wind ‘mood’ ads and not increase their power bills on 1 September.

“After three years of 30% to 40% power price rises, to now have a letter from Meridian informing of a further 3.5% plus a levy (along with advice to put in cylinder wraps and use draft stops for windows and doors to save power) has generated a lot of heat!” “Pensioners in Marlborough with estimated annual income of $13,000 are to get an 8.5% increase,” said Andrew McKenzie.

“It is time for the Government to step in and take back the power – both ownership and responsibility - from the electricity utilities in the country,” said Andrew McKenzie.

ENDS

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